In an important update for undocumented individuals with pressing health conditions, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced recently they will be reopening some pending cases of deferment for those seeking medical care in the United States. The change comes on the heels of a USCIS letter sent to families seeking relief from deportation stating the agency would only consider cases with military exceptions moving forward.
An agency spokesperson addressing the policy reversal said USCIS is, “taking immediate corrective action to reopen previously pending cases.” Previously USCIS said these cases would be referred to United States Immigrations and Customers Enforcement (ICE), yet ICE currently has no procedures in place to review medical requests and considers stays only after an individual has exhausted all legal proceedings and ordered removed.
This state of flux regarding deferred action for serious medical problems has those seeking relief and their advocates concerned they will be forced to leave without the care they need.
Understanding Deferred Action
Deferred action is the ability of a federal immigration agency to formally postpone removal of an unqualified or unlawfully present individual for a specified period of time. Deferred action is available to USCIS, ICE, and United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and is generally offered for humanitarian reasons or for military enlistees, veterans, and their immediate family members. Deferred action cases for military members were not impacted in any way by the changes in USCIS policy.
Once a person’s request for deferred action is approved, they are considered to be lawfully present in the United States for the amount of time specified, and they can apply for a work permit during this time as well. Applicants with serious health problems and their loved ones hope the move to review their cases will stop their removal and enable them to receive the medical care they need – in some cases to survive.
What Individuals Seeking Non-Military Deferred Action Can Expect Moving Forward
Last month, USCIS announced and issued letters to those seeking non-military deferred action including for medical reasons, stating the agency would no longer consider such cases pending as of August 7. With this update on September 2, USCIS sent letters to those affected letting them know their cases were reopened. Anyone seeking deferred action for medical reasons should contact their Philadelphia immigration lawyer to discuss their concerns and seek legal counsel regarding this change.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Work to Help Clients with Serious Medical Needs Avoid Removal
Deferred action was created to offer individuals with humanitarian concerns the ability to lawfully live and work in the United States. Yet as the guidelines around this important status evolve, many men and women are left wondering where they stand and if they will receive the crucial medical attention they need. The Philadelphia immigration lawyers with Surin & Griffin, P.C. are here to answer your questions, ease your mind, and work on your behalf to prevent removal.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to your immigration matter, and federal immigration policies seem to be every-changing. Your situation is unique, and it deserves the care and attention that our team of compassionate and skilled immigration lawyers has to offer.